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Warlord Vol 1 115

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"The Citadel of Fear": Two merchants named Jethra and Larkas are traveling to Kaambuka with a shipment of spices. They worry that their group might be attacked by the Warlord, who they believe has recently transformed from a hero into a villain. This impostor Warlord and his men raid the mer

Quote1 My mandate from Darkseid was clear: "Destroy the man's legend," he said to me, "and the man himself will become irrelevant!" I wonder. For it seems to me now that a hero's legend is, in essence, the lengthened shadow of the man himself -- and that shadows cannot die so long as there remain great men to cast them. Quote2
-- DeSaad

Appearing in "The Citadel of Fear"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • DeSaad
  • Vashek assassins
    • Y'smalla (as Warlord)

Other Characters:

  • Jethra (Single appearance)
  • Larkas (Single appearance)
  • V'zarr Hagar-Zinn (Mentioned only)


  • Skartaris
    • Arallus (Mentioned only)
    • Bandakhar (Mentioned only)
    • The Citadel of Fear (Single appearance)
    • Kaambuka (Mentioned only)
    • Kallistan (Mentioned only)
    • Shamballah



Synopsis for "The Citadel of Fear"

Two merchants named Jethra and Larkas are traveling to Kaambuka with a shipment of spices. They worry that their group might be attacked by the Warlord, who they believe has recently transformed from a hero into a villain. This impostor Warlord and his men raid the merchants, killing some and taking the rest as captives. These prisoners are marched to the Citadel of Fear, where they will be tortured.

Mariah Romanova 04

Warlord is burned at the stake.

The real Warlord returns home to Shamballah with Mariah and Shakira. They are dismayed that they must return home with no cure for the plague that is ailing Jennifer Morgan, Warlord's daughter. Warlord also intends to leave his wife Tara, having fallen in love with Mariah. Mariah does not know how to tell Warlord that his feelings are false, and he is under the influence of her magical amulet. Shakira disapproves of their relationship, and angrily leaves. Warlord kisses Mariah.

In the Citadel of Fear, the impostor Warlord returns to his master DeSaad. It is revealed that this impostor is Y'smalla, a female Vashek assassin. DeSaad has recreated the technology of Apokolips, and he is using it to torture the prisoners for fun. It is not enough for him to witness the agony, he uses a device that helps him feel the pain of his subjects. Y'smalla thinks to herself that DeSaad is insane, but their partnership is temporarily useful.

The real Warlord and Mariah ride into a local town, which the impostor Warlord has recently ravaged. The locals swarm him and knock him out before he can defend himself or explain. They tie Warlord and Mariah up to burn both of them at the stake. This is witnessed by a subject of Tara, who rides swiftly back to report what he saw. Tara is alone in her tower, hoping her husband will return soon. DeSaad enters in disguise and uses his technology to subdue her. The witness arrives in time to watch her being kidnapped, and decides he needs help if he's going to battle a shape-shifter. The witness arrives just in time to rescue Warlord and Mariah, cutting them free so they can fight their own way out. Warlord, Mariah, and the witness, all ride out of the town on horseback.

DeSaad Warlord 003

DeSaad is defeated.

DeSaad brings Tara back to the Citadel of Fear. His plan is to pose as Warlord and torture Tara to death. The other prisoners will be released, so they can spread the word of what they saw. This will ruin the legend of Warlord. Just then, Warlord rides up on the citadel with Mariah and that other guy who doesn't have a name. Warlord pledges to save Tara, although he is no longer in love with her. Mariah feels guilty about her amulet.

Y'smalla runs to warn DeSaad that Warlord is approaching. DeSaad decides to simply let Warlord in to see his wife. DeSaad uses an illusion so it appears that Tara is luxuriating with handsome studs. The ring given to Warlord by Hagar-Zinn allows him to see through this illusion. DeSaad realizes he must flee before anyone discovers his ruse, and begins shooting. Warlord shoots DeSaad, but DeSaad destroys his laboratory and escapes. Warlord is left with the option of saving Tara or Mariah as they're about to be crushed by machinery. Mariah cannot handle the guilt, and destroys her amulet so Warlord will save Tara. Warlord goes to Tara instead, and Shakira arrives at the last second to save Mariah. Warlord and Tara embrace and kiss. Mariah sadly walks away from the man she loved.

DeSaad stands outside and thinks about what it means to be a legend. He was unable to destroy the legend of Warlord, because Warlord himself is the legend. Despite his failure, DeSaad is pleased that many citizens of Skartaris now hate the hero they once loved. He has also left Y'smalla with Apokoliptian technology to spread chaos. DeSaad uses a device to teleport home.



  • No trivia.

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